Interview with Captain Mikael Palmroos
Q: Where did you grow up and where are you living now when you’re not at sea?
A: I was born on the island of Raseborg, Ekenäs, in the most southern part of Finland and still call this my home. I also have a home on the west coast of Sweden on the island of Smögen. The proximity to the sea in a fresh natural setting, with secluded waters of the inner archipelago, has always fascinated me and is an integral part of my heritage.
Q: You recently joined us as Staff Captain on the Onward and have been quickly promoted to Master – how do you feel about starting to navigate your own ship soon?
A: After being in the position of Staff Captain for 10 years, both within Royal Caribbean International and Azamara, I am fully prepared and ready to take command of my own vessel. I am looking forward to working with the industry leading teams in Azamara, both ashore and on board.
Q: How did you get where you are right now? (Scholar information and other career experiences that led you to where you are)
A: The call to the sea has been a part of my life from an early age. My father, a local businessman in the yacht world, introduced me to my first yawl with an outboard engine when I was six years old. Since that young age, my dream was to experience the roar of the waves. Twelve years later, I began my career journey as a sailor, working on various types of ships in different ranks across the world, the last 17 years in the cruise industry.
My career at sea started when I served in the Finnish Navy for a year. I then completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nautical Science, Master Mariner at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg Sweden. I served as a Cadet on several and different types of cargo ships around the world, later taking on the position of Able Bodied Seaman. My introduction to the cruise industry started in 2004 when I joined Royal Caribbean International as a 2nd Officer.
I have sailed as the second in command on board different sizes of vessels, including the largest cruise ships in the world. My preference however has been the smaller-sized vessels as one is able to dock at prime locations worldwide and truly deliver the destination experience to our guests.
Q: What are some hobbies you pursue while at home or when you have free time?
A: My passion is spending time on the water, whether it be canoeing, power boating or swimming in the secluded coves of the Scandinavian archipelago. Even in winter, I spend time on the water as I enjoy ice skating on the frozen sea close to my home with my family. Being a Finn, I also love to spend time relaxing in a sauna set in a natural setting followed by a quick dip in the icy waters of the ocean – truly a refreshing experience I recommend everyone try out if they dare!
Q: What has been your biggest challenge as a Staff Captain? (Or, biggest career challenge)
A: Navigating in complex waters worldwide in the midst of leading and supporting the onboard teams operationally has formed my identity.
Q: What are some of your favourite destinations you like to sail to catch some scenic beauty?
A: Destinations such as the beautiful Scandinavian archipelago, the spectacular Norwegian fjords, the Icelandic icy waters, the stunning waters in Fiji the French Polynesian islands, the crisp scenery in Antarctica, and high arctic of Svalbard as well as the Bering Sea.
Q: Are any of those destinations places you would like to retire?
A: I was not planning to retire soon. To be honest, I have not thought of this in detail however I know for a fact that the Scandinavian archipelago will always remain close to my heart.